Austria off to winning start knocking over Gibraltar

Wed, Jul 20, 2011 10:33 AM

Austria off to winning start knocking over Gibraltar
Austria has got their ICC European Division One campaign off to a good start with a close fought match against Gibraltar in group A at Port Soif in Guernsey today. Gibraltar captain Iain Latin won the toss and put Austria into bat. It was looking like a good decision when both openers were removed with the score on just four. Benjamin Loader showed some resistance in the Austrian upper order with 23 from 25 balls, but in general the wickets were falling regularly and it looked like Austria were going to struggle to set a good total.

That changed later on though with a good partnership of 55 for the ninth wicket between Imran Asif and Nandeep Soggi, which ended when Soggi was out for 28 from 26 balls. Imran Asif stayed in, reaching 35 from 22 balls, including the only six of the innings, and he was the last man out from the first ball of the last over, Austria having scored 141. Aaron Baglietto was the pick of the bowlers with 3-12.

Gibraltar*s innings got off to the worst possible start when Ross Harkins was out from the first ball. Ferrary was run out soon after, before a 66 run partnership between Ian Farrell and Mark Bacarese recovered the innings, swinging the game back Gibraltar*s way. Farrell was out having scored a run a ball 24, and Bacarese stayed in, scoring at a decent rate, also hitting two big sixes in his 60 ball innings of 66. He needed someone to stay with him though, and the wickets at the other end fell regularly. Jack Luman tried, and he hit some good shots towards the end of the innings. Some good Austrian fielding stopped any boundaries though, and Austria won by six runs.

A last wicket stand of 18 between Damian Crowley and Din Alaud gave Italy a narrow one wicket win over Croatia in a thrilling encouter at College field. Chasing what looked a relatively modest 90 for victory, everything looked to be going according to plan when Italy moved serenely on to 20 without loss. Michael Grzinic (2-29) and John Vujnovich (3-19) inspired a spell which saw four wickets fall for just one run, as Italy suffered a serious wobble. Hayden Patrizi crashed four boundaries in a quickfire 22, before skying to Wear at cover. Chris Pivac got in on the act, and at 57 for 6, the game was very much in the balance.

The score had moved on to 75 when Vivek Sharma, who had bowled a loose first over, then produced a triple wicket maiden. The second wicket was the result of a quite brilliant diving catch behind the stumps by Anthony Govorko. After a nervy period, Din Alaud struck two boundaries to break the shackles, and with the scores level, Crowley crashed a cover drive to the boundary, much to the joy, and indeed relief of the Italian contingent.

Earlier, Croatia had batted steadily in scoring 89 for 6 in their 20 overs. Chris Pivac (22) had looked dangerous striking four boundaries, before being well caught on the midwicket boundary by Raso off the bowling of Andy Northcote (2-19). Paul Vujnovich (28) anchored the innings, scoring the only six of the game. Craig Wear (15*) added 28 with Craig Sinovich (10), to give their side something to bowl at - in the final analysis though, not just quite enough.

Co-hosts Guernsey got their challenge off to the perfect start when they completed an emphatic ten wicket win at KGV against Norway. Having been put in, Norway struggled from the off against an accurate and penetrative Guernsey attack, backed up by an energetic display in the field. Jamie Nussbaumer (3-7) removed the top three batsmen to leave Norway reeling at 16 for 3, and that got worse with the introduction of spin twins Gary Rich and Jeremy Frith. The experienced duo tightened the screws, and none of the Norwegian batsmen were able to cope. Firth took 3 for 15, aided by two stumpings by Tom Kimber, both ironically enough off leg side wides. Rich had the excellent analysis of 2 for 9, as Norway was eventually all out for 57 in 17.2 overs. Only Aamir Waheed (11*) and Ali Saleem (10) reached double figures in a pitiful batting display, in which extras (14) was the highest contributor.

Facing a modest target, Guernsey wasted no time in racing to victory, with teenager Tim Ravenscroft (31*) and Ross Kneller (25*) sharing an unbroken opening stand of 60 in just 7.1 overs. Ravenscroft and Kneller punished anything remotely loose, striking 11 boundaries in total between them, as they laid down a serious marker for the week ahead.

In group B, Jersey kicked off their European Division 1 Championship title defence with a comfortable 6 wicket victory over Germany at Les Quennevais this morning. Having won the toss and electing to field Jersey started brightly, with disciplined bowling from openers Ryan Driver and Chris Jones reducing Germany to 6*2 in 4 overs. Matters got worse when the captain Asif Khan was dismissed for 14, caught behind off the bowling of Anthony Hawkins*Kay, leaving Germany struggling at 27*3. But a brisk 36 off 25 balls from Imran Choudhry, including three big straight sixes, steered Germany out of danger and on their way to 99*7 off their 20 overs. Hawkins*Kay was the pick of the Jersey bowlers, finishing with figures of 3*13 from 4 overs.

Jersey then set about their run*chase with intent, openers Ed Farley and Dean Morrison running hard between the wickets and helping Jersey to 26*0 in 3 overs. They experienced a slight wobble as they slipped to 70*4 but a 30*run partnership between captain Peter Gough and Chris Jones steadied the ship and led Jersey to victory with 23 balls to spare.

Elsewhere in Group B, newly promoted Belgium beat France by 5 wickets at the FB Fields. Chasing a total of 114, Belgian opener Nirvam Shah led the way with a knock of 33, helping his team to victory with 2 balls to spare.

In the other game in Group B Denmark were emphatic winners Farmers, beating Israel by 8 wickets. Batting first Israel had made a poor start, losing 2 wickets in their first 7 balls. They eventually limped to 94*9 in 20 overs, Yaniv Rajpurker top*scoring with 26. Danish opener Frederik Klokker then hit 44 off 43 balls to lead his side to a crushing victory inside 16 overs.

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